Synthetic Drugs Are Very Dangerous. Let’s Legalize Them.

Originally posted by randilynn426

Lately, the media has been in a tizzy about synthetic or “designer” drugs. These produce physical and psychological effects similar to traditional, mind-altering substances like marijuana, cocaine and heroin. But they’re different in a crucial way. Not only are they frequently marketed as potpourri, pet food, air freshener and other legal products, but because they are artificial substances, even a slight change in the chemical composition can make the targeted drug no longer covered by existing law.

Here’s why they should be LEGAL….
Texas Drug Task Force Cop Arrested, Accused of Stealing Cocaine From Dealer With Intent to Resell

An officer from the Mission Police Department in South Texas, who was assigned to the Drug Enforcement Administration task force, was arrested on federal charges that he stole more than five kilos of cocaine from a home during a drug raid before staging a fake drug bust to cover up his crime days later.

Hector “Jo Jo” Mendez, 45, a 17-year-veteran of the force, is accused of stealing 15 bundles of cocaine from a home in Mission in July of 2012.   A few days later, the officer reported that he found the bundles in a car belonging to Salvador Gonzalez.

But by then, the cocaine was highly diluted, making it 18 percent pure, “so that the bulk of the narcotic could be stolen and re-distributed for a profit,” according to a criminal complaint unsealed Monday.

Following the seizure of the car, Gonzalez, the accused drug trafficker, was arrested and charges relating to the cocaine were filed against him.  He then explained to officers that he had delivered the cocaine to a home in Mission days prior in different packaging than what Mendez claimed to find, but that it had already been seized by officers who showed up at the home upon receiving a tip from an informant.

Gonzalez also reported that he had never driven the car that the bundles were allegedly found in.

Reynol Chapa-Garcia, 36, corroborated Gonzalez’ story when he admitted to investigators to working with Mendez to stage the raid.  He explained that he had delivered the cocaine to the home and Mendez came and staged the raid days later.  Chapa-Garcia reported that they had arranged to dilute the cocaine so that it could be “stolen” and redistributed for profit, The Monitor reported.

The ‘War On Drugs’ is a failure. The prison industrial complex and for-profit prisons have poisoned our society. Our courts and mandatory sentencing laws are focused on creating inmates, not solving or treating the problems of addiction.
President Obama has become the first sitting president to visit a federal prison
By Mic

President Obama is making history, again. His visit to El Reno federal prison in Oklahoma on July 16 is part of his administration’s focus on criminal justice reform. On Monday, the President announced he would be commuting the sentences of 46 people convicted for nonviolent drug offenses. And on Wednesday, the White House released a fact sheet detailing the various efforts  to make the United States’ criminal justice system fairer and more effective. It’s clear that Obama is taking a different approach to criminal justice reform than his predecessors.

When Weed Is The Cure: A Doctor’s Case for Medical Marijuana

Dr. Casarett on how the war on drugs has affected medical marijuana research:

“There’s no question that the war on drugs has set back medical marijuana research and cannabinoid research in general by probably decades. Marijuana in the United States is classified as a Schedule One substance, which is reserved for those substances like heroin that have significant risks, including the risk of addiction, but, in theory, [have] no medical benefits, and that categorization really has slowed down the process of research. It’s been hard to get medical marijuana; it’s been hard to do clinical trials; it has left a lot of patients essentially to their own devices.”

This man’s life was ruined because federal drug agents stormed his house unannounced

Joel Robinson of Orangeburg, South Carolina, was home alone one morning in October of 2014. It was 6 a.m.—still dark out—when suddenly a group of men burst onto the property, armed and yelling. Alarmed and assuming he was experiencing a home invasion, Robinson grabbed his gun and fled out the back door. As he ran to safety, he shot one of the men he thought was a burglar in the arm.

It was then that Robinson realized that the home invaders were actually federal agents, officers of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) who were executing a search warrant on his home on the suspicion that he’d been manufacturing the drug PCP. Robinson, who had never shot anyone before, immediately dropped his weapon and was arrested.

Seems like a simple case of self-defense, right? Robinson had no way to initially know that the men storming his house were federal agents; he didn’t kill anyone; and as soon as he understood what was happening, he gave up his gun.

Unfortunately, the DEA and the local justice system thought otherwise: Because even accidentally shooting a federal agent counts as assault, Robinson was hit with a whole host of charges—enough to get him a life sentence if convicted for all of them.

His charges included manufacturing and intending to distribute illegal drugs, but no drugs were ever found in his house.

And the DEA officers who ran unannounced into Robinson’s home at 6 a.m.? They weren’t even following their own protocol. “There’s a statute that requires you to knock and announce, and give the person an opportunity to come to the door and answer, and they didn’t do that,” explained one of Robinson’s defense attorneys. If they had, it’s not hard to imagine Robinson’s response would have been very different indeed.

Ultimately, to escape 30 or more years in prison, Robinson accepted a deal in which he plead guilty to the shooting, was sentenced to eight years in prison, and agreed to pay the officer’s $82,000 medical bills (despite the fact that they’d already been covered by insurance).

Joel Robinson’s life is effectively ruined.

How any of this can be said to remotely resemble justice is beyond me.

Robinson’s house was raided on the suspicion that he was manufacturing PCP—but when no drugs were found he was still charged with drug production.

And the agents who invaded his house didn’t follow their own rules to identify themselves—but Robinson was still charged with assault for not realizing who they were.

It goes almost without saying that Robinson is black. While it is impossible to say what kind of role race may or may not have played in his case, there is significant evidence that institutional racism remains a real problem in our justice system. This is particularly true where the drug war is concerned, as black people are more likely than white people to be arrested, convicted, jailed, and given long sentences for the exact same drug crimes.

But perhaps the saddest part of this whole story is that Robinson expressed gratitude that the DEA agents didn’t shoot and kill him on sight. Though that certainly is a mercy, it is appalling that a man who was caught doing nothing wrong would expect that armed government agents could murder him in his home.

John Legend: Mass Incarceration Is Destroying America

“What’s true of drug criminalization is, unfortunately, true of our criminal-justice system in general: It takes people whom we have failed since birth—subjecting them to substandard food, poor living conditions, failing schools, unsafe communities—and then tries to “correct” them through inhumane, over-punitive treatment. That strategy would be a joke if it weren’t so sad.”

Read more

Here’s how marijuana reform swept the country — and who made it happen

Public attitudes towards weed have softened so quickly that anti-marijuana activists are starting to look like historical anachronisms. While the radical change in public attitudes toward marijuana has been swift, it also hasn’t been overnight. It actually started more than 30 years ago.

‘Cartel’ Author Spins An Epic Tale Of Mexico’s Sadistic Drug Wars

Don Winslow, author of The Cartel, on how America’s drug problem relates to Mexico’s drug problem:

“We are the largest drug market in the world. We’re five percent of the world’s population — we consume 25 percent of the world’s illegal drugs. Mexico has the misfortune to share a 2,000 mile border with the largest drug market in the world. … At the end of the day, they’ll run out of products. It’s the illegality that makes those territories so valuable. If you criminalize anything only criminals can sell it. If only criminals can sell it, there’s no recourse to law, there’s only recourse to violence. That’s created the cartels. It’s our simultaneous appetite for — and prohibition of — drugs that makes those border territories worth killing for.”

Credit Source: United States Border Patrol
US Knew of Mexican Drug Kingpin El Chapo’s Plan to Break Out of Prison
Drug Enforcement Administration internal documents obtained by the Associated Press reveal that the US knew about plans for Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán’s escape since a month after he was captured.
By Sputnik

Along with the 2014 escape plans, the DEA documents reveal that Guzman was still directing facets of his drug empire.

“Despite being imprisoned in a ‘high security’ facility, DEA reporting further indicates Guzman-Loera was able to provide direction to his son and other cartel members via the attorneys who visited (him) in prison and possibly through the use of a cellphone provided…by corrupt prison guards,” the documents stated.

The U.S. might as well have let him out itself.